Monthly Archives: October 2011

X on Toast

This is again a delayed post from summer.

What ingredient can begin with letter X? Honestly I could not come up with anything.

Since letter X was just a simple cross that Ilyaas (4) easily identifies, I was not overly concern. Letter X gave me an opportunity to try a type of painting I have been wanting to do with the children for a while now.

Painting with milk. This just involves mixing food coloring to milk to paint. The canvas in our case were slices of bread. We used a an X shaped cookie cutter as a stencil.

Painting letter X on bread

I then slightly toasted the bread to dry out the milk a little and to accentuate the colour.

X on toast - Enjoy!

1 Comment

Posted by on October 19, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Art & Craft



W for Watermelon

This is again something we completed over summer that I just did not have the time to post.

W for watermelon seemed the most appropriate thing at the heat of summer. I purchased watermelons that had red and yellow flesh. I opted for the smaller variety as they have larger seeds in them.

We started off by examining the outer skin of the fruit. Obviously green. However Ilyaas (4) thought that the lines looked like snakes.

Then I cut open the fruit and we observed the inside. The red watermelon’s seed were sort of pale and was quite edible. However the yellow watermelon came with big black seeds which was really exciting for Ilyaas. I explained to him that the watermelon started off as seeds.

Then we used a melon baller to scoop out the flesh of the red watermelon. He was just not able to form any melon balls. Rather it was used as a sort of melon scoop. Ilyaas also observed how watery the whole fruit was. He did not like the mess.

Using a melon baller

Once we scooped all the flesh out, we ran it in the blender with some sugar and ice and made a watermelon drink.

Watermelon drink

As for the yellow watermelon, it was dignified by being sliced up and eaten as how a watermelon should be.

We also made a simple paper plate watermelon using glue painting technique. Ilyaas glued the seeds we had saved from the yellow watermelon here.

Paper plate watermelon

1 Comment

Posted by on October 19, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Art & Craft



Cave Hira’ for Ramadhan

I am posting this way too late. However it only occurred to me to post this idea of mine as the weather is getting cold and I have to dismantle my Hira Cave and pack it away.

Here it goes for what it’s worth . . .

I set up a little tent in our backyard just before Ramadhan. The tent was grey inside out. I pitched it at the top of our retaining wall. The idea was for our children and us to climb up the walls and go to the tent. Then possible be there for a while making remembrance of Allah. This in my mind was sort of imitating what Rasululullahi Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam did before the first revelation came down in the month of Ramadhan.

It was summer and tents are for summer. I thought it was quite a novel idea of getting into the spirit of Ramadhan. I had only one problem, I could not convince any of my family members about this Hira Cave. They just could not see it more than just a tent! Unimaginative lot!

Through out summer it became my little place for some quite and peace.  Every time I climbed my way to it, I could only think of one special person, Khadijah Radhiallahu Anha . . . it was overwhelming.

Insha-Allah, I am posting this hoping it will benefit to those of you out there who hopefully have an imaginative, let’s get into the spirit type family. Who knows next Ramadhaan there might be many Hira Caves pitched in many backyards 🙂

My little tent 'Hira Cave' at the top of the 'mountain'


Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Ramadan



stART – Leaf Man

We have been enjoying the last few days of the warm weather with walks in the various parks around our city. Savouring all of the beautiful fall colours just as the breeze gently plucks away the leaves.

The Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert uses these exact blown away leaves to create characters and a storyline. I enjoy the collage work in all her books. This one though is special. It captures all the colours of fall and locks it in a book, so beautiful to see and read. The children were just so occupied looking at all the different leaf creatures.

Leaves we collected

Ilyaas' leaf man

Our leaf creation

I did scan this artwork for keepsake.

Along side the Leaf Man we also looked at this book. Again truly wonderful ideas on using leaves.


Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Art & Craft



V for Vinegar

This is another hard letter. These were the times I wished my children knew what vendikkai (okra), valakkai (plantain) or even vellarikkai (cucumber) are. Ultimately the sound of letter V in a different language does not count for this project.

So I decided on vinegar. I know, vinegar! This time though we did something really neat with the V ingredient, and yes we did consume it as well.

These were the two types of vinegar I had on hand. We started of by comparing their colours of course. Then I poured a little into medicine cups. Before I could say boo, Ilyaas (4) and Zakariyya (2) reached out and yes, drank it! Subhanallah they had the most hilarious smirk on their faces.

It was some sensory activity for sure. Their taste buds were so heightened that they did not want to smell the vinegar, which was what they were suppose to do in the first place.

We did an activity that involved painting with vinegar that I found here. It is more relevant to science but I used it as an art activity in this case.

Materials needed for vinegar painting

I used food coloring in place of poster paint. Also I laid a water colour paper on the tray and sprinkled the baking soda on the paper.

The children were really fascinated with the foam that formed when the vinegar, dishsoap, food colouring concoction hit the baking soda. They squeezed the bottles empty in no time. Our seconday colours did not form very dark. I suspect it was because I used food coloring. So I could not talk to the children about that.

In the end it was really a fun activity. Alhamdulillah, the end result was a marble effect type painting.

Vinegar painting

Just a note of caution for those who cannot tolerate vinegar smell. The vinegar smell did linger for a long time after we completed the activity. Needless to say everyone in our home is now well acquainted with the smell of vinegar . . . and the letter V.

The other ingredient that is worth considering for letter V is vermicelli.

Rice with vermicelli

Since we did R for rice this was not an option for us. Also we have this dish so often that Ilyaas would have been disappointed.


Posted by on October 6, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Cooking/Baking